BUTLER — The snowfall and colder temperatures that came with Wednesday’s storm were good for business at area ski resorts if for no other reason than to excite enthusiasts’ imaginations. Though the season got off to a more than sluggish start with mild temperatures in November and early December, skiers and snowboarders are now enjoying activities at Clear Fork Resort and Snow Trails.
Mild temperatures earlier in December meant no downhill run for early winter sport activities. While it disappointed those anxious to hit the slopes, ski resorts could still hope for busy holidays when young guests are out of school and businesses or individuals take holiday breaks.
Wednesday’s snow was actually not key to opening the slopes. Snow Trail’s marketing manager Nate Wolleson explained, “Though there was natural snowfall, the temps were not ideal for snowmaking, so this time we let Mother Nature do the work during the day, cranking on our massive snowmaking system again Wednesday night, and Thursday night as well.”
Clear Fork Resort, located at 341 Resort Drive in Butler, began making snow on Nov. 24, but recognizing that the temperatures were mild, they “stockpiled” it rather than spread it in order to save it for better conditions. They hoped to open on Dec. 7 but it was too warm and rain was in the forecast. They delayed opening until Christmas Day.
“It was a good decision,” said Events Director Annie Weirich. “We saved the snow and as soon as it turned cold, we opened. We opened Christmas Day at 4 p.m. so everyone could come out and use what they got for Christmas, like their season passes and equipment.”
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